Mary Roy, an Educator, Gender Right Activist, died at the age of 89 on Thursday, 1st September, 2022.

Roy's legal fight ensured equal rights for Syrian Christian women in their ancestral property.

She challenged the Travancore Succession Act, 1916 and Cochin Succession Act, 1921 - which the Syrian Christian community in Kerala used to follow at that time.

As per these laws, if the father died intestate, the daughter were eligible for one-quarter of the son’s share or Rs 5,000, whichever was less.

She challenged this discrimination and filed case against her brother in court.

Her argument was members of the community elsewhere in the country were governed by provisions of the Indian Succession Act, 1925.

She also argued that the Travancore Succession Act violated Article 14 of the Constitution by discriminating on the basis of gender.

The Supreme Court in its 1986 judgment ruled that in case the deceased parent has not left a will,...

the succession will be decided as per the Indian Succession Act, 1925 which will also apply to the Indian Christian Community in the erstwhile state of Travancore.

Mary Roy was also the founder of the famous Pallikoodam school near Kottayam. She was the Principal of the school from its inception till 2011 when she retired.

She is also the mother of Man Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy.

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